09 Apr 2013

Referendum Would Have Resulted in Defeat for HST Increase, Split Decision on Toll Highways

HALIFAX: There is little support for an increase in the HST among New Brunswick residents, according to the most recent survey conducted by Corporate Research Associates Inc. (CRA). Residents are equally split however, on whether they support or oppose the introduction of highway tolls as a measure to address the provincial budget deficit.

Prior to the announcement of the provincial budget, New Brunswick residents were asked by CRA if a referendum were to be held, would they support or oppose an increase in the provincial HST, and the introduction of highway tolls, as a means to address the provincial budget deficit.

“The legislated requirement in New Brunswick for a referendum on new revenue generating measures such as toll highways or an increase in the HST leaves government in a precarious position to deal with the types of financial challenges the province finds itself in today,” according to Don Mills, Chairman and CEO of Corporate Research Associates. “There appears to be only limited support for either of these revenue generating measures regardless of the fiscal challenges faced by the provincial government in New Brunswick.”

The results indicate that two-thirds (66%) of New Brunswick residents oppose an increase in the HST, while three in ten (29%) support such a measure and five percent do not offer an opinion. Meanwhile, support for the introduction of highway tolls stands at 48 percent, while the same number (48%) oppose such a  measure and four percent do not offer an opinion. If New Brunswickers had to choose between the two options as a means to address the deficit, more residents would opt for the introduction of highway tolls (46%), while one-third (34%) would opt for an increase in the HST.

These results are part of the CRA Atlantic Quarterly®, an independent survey of Atlantic Canadians, and are based on a telephone sample of 401 adult New Brunswickers, conducted from February 13 to
March 8, 2013, with overall results accurate to within ±4.9 percentage points, 95 out of 100 times.  
 
For more information, please contact:
Don Mills, Chairman and CEO, at (902) 493-3838
Margaret Brigley, President and COO, at (902) 493-3830

View full media release here.

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CRA Corporate Research Associates